Dream On, Dreamer have ditched their old label and are now doing it all on their own. At a point in their career where they’re content and happy with the band, new album ‘Songs Of Solitude’ is a more mature and refined record than some may initially think. Killyourstereo.com recently spoke with the band’s frontman, Marcel Gadacz, about their new album, as well as his thoughts on the business side of things in the music biz.
So Marcel, what have you been up to lately?
I’ve been trying to stay out of hospital the last couple of weeks. I had a thing over the past couple months that’s been…less fortunate, so I’ve just been trying to stay as healthy as possible.
I heard about that man, very sorry to hear. I was a bit concerned.
Thanks man, I’m feeling good now, but I’m still in the middle of it right now. It’s something that I thought I would never have to deal with it. I’m a bit in the dark right now with what I should do and what the next couple of months will look like, but it’ll get taken care of.
Honestly, that sounds quite scary. But you seem to be handling it quite well. With medical issues, the band’s had history with some serious health concerns in the past (former drummer Aaron has had a lengthy battle with cancer), do you ever feel like life’s out to get you guys?
Yes and no, but it’s something [where] we don’t have any control. With me having a tumour growing on my spine, it’s not like I’ve been living an unhealthy life. Even with Aaron, he was in the band when he had to go through that cancer stage, and it can affect all of us. It really opens your eyes, it can happen to anybody.
I totally understand, I really do. As Dreamer has been able to tour Australia so much and go overseas quite a bit, do you think if these issues had occurred earlier in the band’s lifespan you’d have a very different perspective on the band and your life?
Perhaps man, I’m not one to dwell on what may have happened. But now, having a cancerous cell or tumor, it’s so hard to wrap your head around. It doesn’t happen to you and you don’t care, and then happens to you and you see what really matters in life. We’ve toured around the world, and you get in this moody state where you just want to stay home. If those things had happened earlier, than maybe I would have taken so much more in. I think I take so much more in now, my behaviour and my surroundings. It’s more of an appreciation now.
Well-said Marcel. It’s hard to tell I’m sure. We’ll move away from that rather grim topic of discussion and talk about the new album. It’s easily my favourite release from Dreamer, and I’m not just saying that for the purpose of the interview. With the title, where does that stem from?
It’s all about growing up and about the experiences I’ve come across the past couple of years. It’s very personal and very dark, but more in the sense that it’ll give you a feeling of self-worth or appreciation. You know, don’t whinge about the small things in life – grow out of it, grow stronger.
You know, I’ve always found that the band has kind of encouraged positivity from the get-go.
Yeah, it’s about that whole element of being real and facing your real emotions, and copping the shittest situations. Like, myself walking around Melbourne late at night without a bed to sleep in. Life is way realer than what most people portray it as, and Dreamer has always been a very true experience with the lyrics and the vibe of the band.
With the album, my favourite song is ‘Vertigo’, and that music video…that made me so nauseous.
That video was done while we were in the States recording the album. We wanted to see how far we could push it. We had all the equipment for it and we wanted to make something that people find really…disturbing [laughs]. You don’t not want to look at it, and if you do look at it, it makes feel you sick. It’s pushing boundaries, as people want to show how much money we have and this is what we have, but we wanted to show that life isn’t like that and that it can be quite ugly.
It definitely comes off as that. In January, you guys are playing Unify. How do you feel about playing one of the youngest but fastest growing music festivals in our country?
At the end of the day, it’s all business orientated with these opportunities. We were friends with the guys behind Unified before that label was up, and it’s huge. People seem to want to go to that festival [rather] than Soundwave, for some reason [laughs]. So we’re stoked for it man.
Right on. With the line-up, it’s definitely got some lighter shades on the bill, what do you think of the pop-punk acts joining it?
Honestly, as booking agents and promoters look at the touring cycles, they’ll see what bands come through and they’ll jump at the opportunity. That’s what it really comes down to really. Some of those bands are probably already touring out here, and I’m not being negative about them, I just think that’s how it went down for some of those bands.
As you said earlier, it’s a very business-first deal I think. A while ago I saw that this random on Facebook was telling you not to eat meat. Does that bother you when random people challenge you based on your own ethical, personal decision?
Yeah, but when you’re in the media in some form you’ll always be dealing with people like that. Little do people know that I was actually vegetarian for three or four years of my life, and then I moved to Australia and it all changed for me. I’m still very passionate about animal’s rights, and I know that that’s a little contradictory as I eat meat. But I’m not judging them for something they do, as it’s their life. Who are we to make decisions about those sorts of things for someone else? When clearly I’ve thought a lot about already, you know?
Yeah, well said. It’s just a matter of perspective really. Right before you announced the album, you released that “cover”, shall we say, of Shia Labeouf’s Just Do It video…you should release a full cover one day. It was one of the funniest things I’ve seen a band do.
Ah, probably…not man. [laughs]. We jumped on that pretty early, it was pretty cool for the time being I think.
That it was man, that it was. I’m curious, has Zach’s time in Young Lions hindered any touring?
Not really, no. We’ve spent a lot of time overseas in the last couple of years. Personally, I got married and we all got to a point where we hit the page where we wonder about our future, yet our passion is music. We didn’t want to jump on the whole bandwagon of touring 12 months a year, making barely any money, leaving behind the people that you love, and making it all into something you hate. I’m sure a lot of artists don’t talk about this stuff a lot, as it can turn into a 9-5 job and it’s not fun anymore. It sounds really terrible. Like being at the airport all day, just punch me out [laughs]. I get so annoyed with it, and I feel like I’m missing normal life as well. It can be very difficult while on the road, and we all have other commitments, and we love doing this. But we don’t want to turn it into something that puts us in a position where we don’t enjoy it anymore.
That’s very honest of you, as a lot of bands don’t bring up the downsides of touring. If you had been one of those bands, do you think Dreamer could have burnt yourselves out a long time before now?
Oh, totally. We still do those kinds of schedules, but we always make it enjoyable. If you leave behind your partners and families, you’d be making a bit more money, and it’s a real investment but that lifestyle isn’t easy to leave. In our situation, that’s the way it was, but we never want to get burnt out on it.
With the band organising their own merch, that seems a much more personal way to run a business.
Yeah, we don’t want to do the cliché thing and have big companies sending out our orders, as we’re a personal band and we put so much into our music but our merch as well. We have the choice of paying company to send it out or we do it ourselves, so why not do it ourselves? That’s another thing – why does it have to be that way? Why do we need all these other people? Why don’t we jut make our website, make our own merch, and it’s a lot more work but it makes you so much prouder of what you’re doing.
I really respect that DIY mentality on the business side of things, in this day and age.
We have been on the other side, where it was all handed out to us and we didn’t have to worry at all. But, at the end of the day, there are other people getting rich off you. Without the bands, those people wouldn’t have a job. Why would I sacrifice 10-20 years of my life to create something so others live off it and I can barely eat? It’s one of those things that you have to make it fit for yourself.
Words to live by dude. We’ve been at this for a good while now Marcel, thanks so much for your time, been great to chat with you.
Hey likewise man, thank you very much.
‘Songs Of Solitude’ is out November 13.
Catch the band on tour this November/December.